Restorative dentistry is the integrated management of oral health problems and restoring of the mouth to a functional and aesthetic state. The goal of restorative dentistry is to preserve natural teeth as much as possible. Replacing missing teeth with a dental implant, bridge, full or partial denture helps promote dental health as well. Restorative dentistry involves the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of oral diseases. Four primary types of dental materials used to restore teeth: porcelain, dental amalgam, composite resin and fold. There is a variety of treatment options designed to restore the surface of the teeth or replace missing teeth. Fillings, for example, often use amalgam to restore the tooth’s surface and are generally placed on posterior or teeth located in the back of the mouth. Crowns are a type of restoration covering the entire portion of a tooth that has been damaged, chipped, cracked or, subject to extensive restoration that threatens the rest of the tooth. Other types of restorations are removable partial, implant, inlay, onlay and bonding.
Dentures are a restorative device used to replace missing teeth for people with no teeth. They can also be used in mouths where several teeth need to be replaced. Dentures are also a popular alternative for those who wish to conserve their existing healthy teeth.
Air abrasion is a way to remove decay from a tooth without using a dental drill. The air abrasion hand piece blows a powerful air stream of tiny aluminum oxide particles out of its tip onto the tooth. The tiny particles bounce off the tooth and blast the decay away. Air abrasion is most commonly used to prepare teeth for composites, or white fillings. It also helps to repair cracks and discolored teeth, to prepare teeth for binding procedures, such as sealants, and various other procedures. Air abrasion works well to repair chipped, fractured, or worn teeth; to prepare teeth for cosmetic surgery; remove stains and spots; repair old fillings and sealants; and repair broken crowns and bridges.
The concept of a filling is replacing and restoring your tooth structure that is damaged due to decay or fracture with a material. Your dentist can replace old, broken down amalgam/metal fillings that contain traces of mercury with white fillings that will make your teeth stronger. Two different types of fillings are composite and amalgam. Composite are white fillings that can improve your aesthetics. They can be used to improve your smile by matching your natural tooth color, and can be reshaped or repaired to fix chipped or broken teeth. Amalgam, or silver filling, is the most common material used to fill decaying teeth. Although amalgam is a silver color, it is a lot more durable than composites, but white fillings are healthier because no traces of mercury are used.
A dental bridge is a custom device anchored to neighboring teeth that replaces one or more missing teeth. A tooth or teeth replaced with bridgework are replaced by a natural-looking prosthetic that is held together by the teeth on either side of the missing ones.
Crowns are used to cover damaged, cracked, chipped teeth, or to generally restore teeth. When cemented into place, they fully cup over the portion of a tooth which lies at and above the gum line. Dentists will match the color of your teeth to give you a natural look.
A dental implant is a titanium post that is surgically positioned into the jawbone beneath the gum line that allows your dentist to mount replacement teeth or a bridge into that area. Dental implants benefit general oral health because they do not have to be anchored to other teeth. They provide stable support for artificial teeth and won’t slip or shift in your mouth.